Reentry

Seven Elements of Successful Reentry

Research has found the following seven elements are critical for successful youth reentry

Community based connections

Juvenile Rehabilitation (JR) is dedicated to the successful community reentry of youth residing in our care. Our goal for all youth is to leave our care with a Reentry Plan in hand that is comprehensive, achievable, and supported by everyone involved. All parts and sectors of the community can be involved in helping youth transition back into the community; with a goal of all youth enrolled with appropriate community-based agencies as part of the reentry planning process. The reentry process requires engagement across the entire community that can emphasize education, employment, treatment, legal rights and recreation. To achieve successful reentry, the process must include a strong continuity of care, effective treatment services, efficient case management practices, comprehensive education, vocation and employment programs, active involvement by family and natural supports, community-based connections and a youth voice.

Effective treatment services

We provide various treatment services for youth during their stay. From the moment youth enter our care, and with the assistance of community-based services, we can further assist youth in addressing their long-term needs. Successful Youth Reentry Plans are grounded in nationally recognized reentry principles which include Evidence and Research Based treatments, Mental Health treatments, Alcohol-Substance Abuse treatments, and Sexual Offense treatments.

Efficient case management practices

Recognizing that youth present with multiple needs, Juvenile Rehabilitation has developed programs that take a comprehensive approach to reentry and offer or connect youth to a wide range of treatment and services both in our care and in the community post-release. Each of the programs provided offers an overview and examination of key evaluative research of comprehensive and case management programs, and takes a comprehensive approach to improving outcomes for youth returning home to their community. These programs provide or link youth to a broad array of services including educational development, employment preparation and skills, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and housing assistance. Many of these programs involve coordination across multiple agencies to ensure a smooth transition from correctional settings back to the community and are centered on a case management model in which case managers are tasked with developing reentry plans and coordinating treatment both within the facility and in the community post-release.

Vocation/employment programs

Vocational Training and Employment opportunities are vital to a youth’s progress towards independence. Obtaining vocational skills and a sustainable living wage not only promote independence but also provide protective factors that decrease the likelihood of recidivism. To increase vocational and employment opportunities among incarcerated youth in preparation for reentry, JR is currently working in partnership with local Workforce Development Councils responsible for providing services to disadvantaged young people. Additionally we are looking to build future relationships with community-based organizations specializing in job training, apprenticeships, job readiness, career development and employment opportunities to address employment in a struggling job market for the young, disadvantaged and unemployed.  

Comprehensive education

In partnership with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and Institutional Education this program provides youth with the opportunity to meet the standards of the state academic content and achievement that all children are expected to meet. In addition, they provide services for youth to make a successful transition from incarceration to community educational programs. These services, overseen by OSPI, are collaboratively delivered by over 35 school districts and four Education Service Districts.  Because of this collaboration, we have the ability to provide educational opportunities for all youth incarcerated in our institutions and community facilities onsite. Through this partnership youth in our custody are able to achieve academic success, retrieve school credit, earn high school diplomas, and obtain GEDs. For some youth, this is the first time they have ever experienced academic success.

Life Skills

Life skills are essential to prepare youth to lead fulfilling, productive, and prosperous adult lives. Youth transition to adulthood requires proper planning for future needs. Thus, in addition to the reentry domains, it is important to infuse life skills into the reentry service menu to prepare youth for long term success.  Life skills subjects include: Career Planning, Academics, Daily Living, Home Life, Money Management, Self-Care, Identity, Transportation, and Work Life. Considerations should be given to a young person’s consider gender, age, race, ethnicity, faith, and community and presenting needs when prioritizing and addressing these life skills.

Active youth and family involvement

Family members play a vital role in the reentry process. Family-based reentry programs can take many forms, encompassing a variety of interventions aimed at strengthening relationships, reducing family conflict, and fostering connections both during and after adjudication.  In JR, we have developed a process where each youth and their identified parent/guardian will have the opportunity to participate in a reentry planning process, called a Reentry Team Meeting (RTM). RTM’s guide youth, families, and service providers through a facilitated process to better prepare and support a youth’s reentry back into the community. The following are core principles of RTM’syouth, family, and community focused, strength-based with an emphasis on natural supports, non-judgmental and non-blaming, respect for individual differences, alliance focused, and solution focused.

More about Reentry:

Governor Inslee’s Executive Order 16-05: Building Safe and Strong Communities Through Successful Reentry

Preventing Youth Homelessness in Juvenile Rehabilitation

Governor's Reentry Day Proclamation